It happens to everyone, yet it seems to come without warning.
You can be hitting goal after goal, crushing quota every quarter, then it suddenly seems to stop.
The road gets bumpy, you lose speed, and everything seems a little bit harder. Maybe this was brought on by a recent change in companies, change in the product, evolving customer expectations, or evolving sales habits. Then, you get stuck in a rut. Once you finally connect with prospects, you have difficult conversations that lead to nothing. You can’t seem to book any demos, generate interest, or close any deals. Many in this situation have deals are in the pipeline, but the important deals just won’t close. Those that do close are tiny, and don’t bring you any closer to your quota. It goes on for a few days, then a week, then possibly even longer. You end up stranded on the side of the road, dejected and just trying to get moving.
If you are stuck in a sales rut, this is not the time to give up hope. Overcoming these obstacles is the stuff great salespeople and leaders are made of. you can easily get your sales moving again. Start at the top of your funnel and examine it step-by-step to find what you need to fix. Just like if your car gets a flat, you don’t get a whole new car. Here’s how to get your sales back on track:
First and foremost, you need to be in the right mental state. Are you excited and ready to sell? Enthusiasm and passion echo through your emails and phone calls. It only takes 100 milliseconds to develop an impression, and excitement helps ensure that the impression is positive. Excitement about your company and products completely changes how you sound and sell. That passion is then transferred to your prospects, who become excited as well.
Sales does actually have a physical element. Your physical condition can influence your sales performance, as it impacts your awareness, adaptability, creativity, and effectiveness. One study found that employees who started their day in a good mood were 10 percent more productive than others. Despite what internet fitness gurus say, there is no one-size-fits-all routine that guarantees physical performance. To actually work, your daily routine must fit your specific lifestyle and schedule. You should, however, get between seven and nine hours of sleep, avoid the snooze button, eat a healthy breakfast, and get in some sort of physical activity throughout the day.
Even if you’re not doing well on the phone, you must keep prospecting. The worst thing you can do when you are struggling is stop. Keep your momentum going and keep making dials, when you connect, keep having conversations. If you’re struggling, you may even want to make more calls. If you’re struggling to sell, you need to continue to try. Even if you are an AE who may not have the first contact with prospects, getting to the front line may help you improve.
As you reexamine your daily routine, make your calls, and send your emails, you will soon find that there is a right time of the day to perform each of your activities. It’s possible you are struggling to sell because your buyer’s habits have changed you are no longer reaching them at the right time. Try mixing up your routine, call and send your emails at different times and schedule your admin work around them. Pay attention to when you connect and develop your sales rhythm around your new habits.
When you do get prospects on the phone, are you asking the right questions? In every discussion, you should find what your lead wants. Find what problems they are experiencing, what needs they have, or what they want to accomplish. Then, help them get what they need. Don’t open immediately with a product pitch or launch into a diatribe about you and your company. Your conversations need to be about your prospects and how you can provide value to them.
It’s easy to fall off the edge if you don’t keep your blade sharp. As a sales rep, you should constantly be training and improving every day. This doesn’t have to require a significant amount of effort. You can use call libraries, annotations, and peer-to-peer coaching to easily review calls and learn from your teammates. Call libraries allow you to listen to the top recorded calls from other reps. Hear how they pitched, positioned the product, or handled objections and adopt those same methodologies to see if they work for you.
Objections are one of the most difficult pieces of a sales conversation, but when handled properly, are a powerful way to gain a prospect’s interest. If you are struggling to sell, your objection handling techniques may need a revamp. Review call libraries of the best techniques your sales team has seen, review the calls where you faced an objection with a teammate, or role-play a difficult conversation to experience it first-hand.
To be successful in sales, you must stay aware of industry trends, competitors, and changing customer needs. You should be able to act as a consultant to your reps, inform them of the market, and how your products will help them perform as well as possible.
Research has shown that gratitude is tied to better performance in business. Looking back at the wins you have had and those that have purchased from you can kindle a sense of appreciation and happiness. That appreciation for what your product does for customers can help ignite a passion for selling that will then bring your results back on track.
Zack is a Sales Content Specialist at RingDNA. He is passionate about solving everyday problems and increasing performance through innovative technology. Zack has worked directly with sales teams and understands the challenges they face on a daily basis. When he's not developing and sharing knowledge at RingDNA, he loves being outdoors, hiking, and coffee.